Record IPL payday for Kohli, Aussie stars
Kohli sets new IPL salary record while Smith and Warner to become the highest-paid Australians in the T20 tournament
5 January 2018, 08:38 AM AEST
Test skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner have secured the most lucrative T20 contracts ever offered to an Australian, with both batsmen retained for the upcoming Indian Premier League for more than $AUD 2million.
Smith and Warner were each retained for the 2018 IPL season for the jaw-dropping price of INR 12 crore (approximately $AUD 2.4 million) by Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
Test legend Shane Warne had held the previous Australian record for the highest IPL salary having been snapped up by Rajasthan for $AUD 2.01m in 2011, with Shane Watson the next highest (Royal Challengers Bangalore, $1.98m in 2016).
But India captain Virat Kohli was the biggest winner from Thursday's player-retention event in Mumbai, with the India captain set to pocket the biggest IPL salary in the competition's history.
Kohli was retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore for $AUD 3.4 million (INR 17 crore), eclipsing the previous record held by Yuvraj Singh, who was bought by Delhi Daredevils for INR 16 crore in 2015.
Smith, who captained Rising Pune Supergiant last year, has been 'retained' by Rajasthan after their readmission into the competition. Pune replaced the Royals in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the IPL as the franchise served a two-year ban for corruption.
Two-time IPL leading run-scorer David Warner will remain at the Sunrisers, the side he captained to the 2016 title.
The pair were the only Australians to be retained by IPL sides ahead of this month's looming mega auction, which could feature the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell.
Kohli will again be joined by South Africa star AB de Villiers, who RCB kept on for $AUD 2.2m (INR 11 crore).
Other big-money players to have existing deals renewed included Rohit Sharma (retained by reigning champions Mumbai Indians for $3m/15 crore), allrounder Hardik Pandya (Mumbai, $2.2m/11 crore), Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings $2.2m/11 crore), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers $1.7m/8.5 crore) and Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders, $1.7m/8.5 crore).
Each team were permitted to retain up to three players ahead of the 2018 IPL player auction to be held on January 27 and 28.
The likes of Maxwell, Cummins and Lynn – among the 22 Australians who played in last year's IPL – can still be retained by their existing franchises with 'right-to-match' cards during the auction.
Franchises are permitted to keep up to five of their players through a combination of the pre-auction retention event and right-to-match cards.
This year's auction is set to be the most lucrative one yet with with a new broadcast rights deal worth $AUD 3.2 billion and a salary cap increase of 20 per cent,
IPL PLAYERS RETAINED
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja
Delhi Daredevils: Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Shreyas Iyer
Kings XI Punjab: Axar Patel
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfraz Khan
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar